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Passage Grave


New port site threatens Bremore passage graves

Even though the Bremore monuments have been the subject of a protective order for decades, discussion of a new deepwater port site at Bremore poses a threat to their preservation. The port proposal is entering into the planning process... Read the full story in the Meath Chronicle.
C Michael Hogan Posted by C Michael Hogan
26th March 2008ce
Edited 26th March 2008ce

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Archaeologist raises fears over new port site;

DROGHEDA Port Company`s plans for a new deep water port at Bremore near
Balbriggan have run into controversy after a leading Meath archaeologist
said that the chosen site was of huge archaeological and historical
significance and could have been the place where St Patrick first landed
in Ireland.
The company plans to build the major new port at a cost of €300 million.
However, Meath archaeologist Professor George Eogan, known for his work
on the Newgrange, Knowth, and Dowth archaeological sites, says that the
area contains a unified prehistoric cemetery of mounds that extends for
over a mile, from Gormanston, north of the Delvin river, to Bremore,
which is to the south of the river. The river marks the boundary between
Meath and Fingal.
He said that Bremore had the appearance of being a landing place for
early people coming to Ireland and that passage tombs were the likely
burial places for people coming from the Iberian peninsula.
The site at Bremore had been surveyed by Professor Etienne Rynne from
NUI Galway in 1960 but has not yet been excavated.
Professor Eogan told the Irish Times: "This does not detract from the
importance of Bremore and Gormanston. There`s enough evidence to say
that it`s contemporary with the Boyne Valley. I would be concerned about
the destruction of irreplaceable monuments."
The Neolithic cemetery of passage tombs at Bremore has been the subject
of a preservation order for over 30 years and any development of the
site would need to appropriately protect the monuments. It is thought
that the tombs are of similar antiquity to the oldest monuments in the
Boyne Valley, perhaps dating back to 3,000BC.
Professor Eogan said that in addition to the archaeological significance
of Bremore, there was also evidence that it was around the mouth of the
Delvin that St Patrick landed in Ireland for the first time, making it a
historically important site. He pointed out that there were several
alternative locations along the east coast for a port of the kind
proposed by the company.
Drogheda Port Company has invested significant resources to its plan for
the port, in conjunction with Treasury Holdings and the major Hong Kong
conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa to develop a modern deepwater port, with
an initial capacity of 10 million tonnes of freight per annum.
In January this year, the Government announced that it wanted to speed
up the process of planning for the port and transferred compulsory
purchase powers for the acquisition of lands by the Drogheda Port
Company to An Bord Pleanala. The port company has a target of a year
from now in submitting a full planning application and it hoped to open
the new port by 2012.
The Drogheda company has set out the ambitious expansion plan because it
says that it has run out of spare capacity. It says that a full
assessment of the area would be carried out before any application for
planning permission was lodged.

Meath Chronicle 27th March 2008
moss Posted by moss
27th March 2008ce
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